Happy Monday. Happy cold and icy Monday. I’m afraid all I have to show for this weekend is sixteen episodes of Scandal and I’m not even mad about it.
So in lieu of a typical weekend recap, today I’m going to talk about my hair. And you’re going to sit there and pretend like you care. Got it? Are we all on the same page? Good.
It’s been six weeks since I took the no-poo plunge. Well, actually, more like six and a half, but that’s not the point. The point is, it’s been six weeks of baking soda and apple cider vinegar and now it’s time to talk details.
DISCLAIMER: Nearly all the photos you are about to see were taken in the wee hours of the morning. That means you’re about to be exposed to a lot of no-makeup mirror pics that showcase a very dirty bathroom. You’ve been warned.
I originally decided to give no-poo a whirl after this girl posted about deciding to take the plunge herself. I did some serious Googling. (This website and this blog were the two resources I found most helpful.) I’m no scientist, but the idea seemed plausible. I’ve always had very thick, dry, and coarse hair. It’s hard to manage and slow to grow and a real pain in the ass most days. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
What I do: Take about a half a tablespoon of baking soda, and mix with a little water. Usually about a cup. Some people put the baking soda directly in their hand with just a splash of water to make a paste. I tried that once, but it felt a little gritty and less clean, so I went back to my old method. For “conditioner,” I just use a 1/1 ratio of apple cider vinegar and water. I usually do a cup of each. I keep it in a squirt bottle and only use about 1/3 of that mixture at a time.
The first week is supposed to be one of the toughest, but my hair reacted really well. In order to get your hair through the “withdrawl phase,” you’re supposed to wait as long as you can in between washes. I also started brushing my hair multiple times a day to distribute all the oils. I made it seven days until my second wash. I think I only ran twice, and I just rinsed my hair thoroughly with water afterwards. I felt a little grimy, but it actually looked better than I’d expected.
The second week was a little tougher. I started figuring out that my unwashed hair was a lot easier to hide when it was curled, as opposed to wearing it straight. Oops. Lesson learned the hard way. But I made it another seven days. This photo was taken right before my next wash.
Week three felt like I was getting into a bit of a groove. My hair was adjusting well, and styling pretty easily. After a particularly gross and sweaty run, I decided to try an egg yolk wash in between BS/ACV washes. It didn’t give me near as much of a clean feeling, but it did make my hair very soft and shiny.
I don’t remember much of anything from week four. At this point it was mostly good hair days, and a little bit of an itchy scalp.
Week five was a ditto to week four. But I did think it would be fun to include this picture of my hair au natural after a wash. Still a little bit crazy, but a lot more relaxed and much softer than before going no-poo.
And this photo is from last week, about three days after a wash.
PROs: My hair is growing. Noticeably faster than it ever has before. It’s softer, less tangled, and generally lower maintenance.
CONs: The only negative reaction I would say I’ve had is a little bit of a dry scalp. According to some no-poo experts, this could be part of the detoxing phase. Or could just be that I have a dry scalp. I usually go through dry scalp phases a few times a year and I honestly think this little personal experiment may have just coincided with that.
What’s worked for me: Brushing my hair every day. It seems to make a world of difference. I brush a minimum of twice a day (morning and evening) but if I happen to be hanging out at home, I’ll brush my hair every few hours.
More info: I did have a cheat day. One morning I woke up way, way past my alarm, and I desperately needed a shower and I honestly just forgot to bring my BS/ACV supplies into the bathroom. So I showered quickly with a little bit of Dove shampoo and honestly didn’t even think about it until I got to work. My hair didn’t seem to react negatively to that one slip up, so all in all, not too big of a deal.
Taylor originally hated the apple cider vinegar smell. For those first and second washes, He whined and whined, and I enjoyed having the couch all to myself because he couldn’t stand it. He hasn’t really complained since then. So he’s either gotten used to it, or gotten tired of complaining. When my hair dries, the smell goes away, so it never bothered me.
I’ve really, really cut down on heat and products. This could also be one reason why my hair seems to have improved. But when I am no-poo, it’s like I just don’t have to try as hard to get my hair to do what I want. If I go to bed with curls, I wake up with them almost entirely in tact. I don’t think I’ve blow dried my hair except for once or twice in the past six weeks, and letting it dry naturally has seemed to work best.
Also, along the line of disclaimers – I can’t really speak to how this fits into working out regularly. Because to be honest, I can probably count on two hands the amount of runs and times I’ve exercised in 2015. It hasn’t been consistent, and even when it occurs, it hasn’t been intense. I’ve been busy and lazy and just haven’t been working out, so no-poo has been easy. If I was working out more, I’d probably be supplementing with dry shampoo and maybe tossing in an extra wash every now and again.
I’m now to the point where I’m washing about every 5-7 days. Usually, if I make it to seven, the last day or two involve pony tails, or something of the messy bun variety.
So altogether, my experience with no-poo has been great. And I have no intention of going back to regular shampoo any time soon.
So what questions do you have? Has anyone else ever given no-poo a try? What are your thoughts?